PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - Two men living illegally in Michigan were arrested on charges of attempting to distribute $1 million of cocaine in what Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard called a "major drug bust."
The seizure of 10 kilograms of cocaine was a successful result of the investigation. But, Bouchard said, the presence of men living illegally in the country and distributing drugs during a period of heavy addiction and abuse is a major concern.
One suspect arrested was Hong Yuan Li, 40, from China, and Rosario Eduardo Trejo Quintero, 44, from Mexico, the two most common points of origin for drugs entering the country, he said.
"The Major County Sheriffs of America and myself believe first and foremost, you have to secure the border. If you don't have a secure border, you don't know who's coming in the country and what is coming in the country," he said.
"Well what we know is coming in the country for sure is a significant increase in drugs."
Bouchard cited a statistic given to him by the Department of Homeland Security that reported a 43% increase in fentanyl entering the U.S.
The cocaine that was seized during an exchange between both suspects was tested and did not have any fentanyl. However, the parties behind the exchange represented a failure by U.S. immigration enforcement to properly secure the country's northern and southern borders, Bouchard said.
The arrest, which happened in the greater Pontiac area, happened on April 21.
An Uber driver dropped off the suspect from Mexico, who then met with the suspect from China.
The 9 mm pistol that was found on one of the suspects arrested during the drug bust. Along side are the seized narcotics.
Li was armed with a 9 mm pistol. He had previously been deported by the U.S. in 2006. It's unclear how he got back into the country.
Bouchard would not go into details about how the investigation started or where it led law enforcement. The arrest in Pontiac did not mean any drug trafficking happened in the city.
Both suspects have been formally charged and are listed as codefendants.
They're being held on a million dollar bond.